You have probably heard about the Robinhood app on YouTube and want to know if it’s available in Europe, right?
Robinhood is a modern and easy-to-use investment app from the US, which has introduced the concept of commission-free trading in financial products such as stocks and ETFs, alongside its biggest rivals, Webull, E-Trade, and TD Ameritrade.
Want to know if Robinhood is available in Europe, its expansion plans, and the alternatives available for European users? We’ve got you covered!
Is Robinhood Available in Europe?
Unfortunately, Robinhood is not yet available outside the US. It had planned to open in the UK in 2020, but it was postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19.
Most recently, in early 2022, Robinhood has set aggressive goals to “open their crypto platform to customers internationally”. With this in mind, Robinhood has signed an agreement to buy Ziglu, a London-based crypto trading app, to help accelerate their international expansion, both in the UK and across Europe.
But do not lose hope! Whether you live in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, Bulgaria, Portugal, or any other European country, you will find some alternatives proven to be reliable (and perhaps even more reliable than Robinhood!).
The covid-19 stock crash during the first quarter of 2020 showed some vulnerabilities of the Robinhood platform. The app collapsed several times, and investors could not trade during the most volatile markets in history (examples are Gamestop, and more recently, Dogecoin). The company is facing some lawsuits due to these outages.
Besides, Robinhood has already faced some security breaches revealing sensitive information about its clients, and, at one point, it even allowed “infinite leverage” that was shortly corrected afterwards. Still, it did not avoid major losses for some clients.
After watching some of these controversies, in early 2021, EU officials have said that online trading platforms such as Robinhood would not be allowed in Europe due to the structure of “payment for order flow”, which may be conflicting with putting clients’ interests first (more about it in Reuters).
Robinhood Alternatives in Europe
To help us answer this question, we focused on low-cost brokers, which are available in most countries in Europe. Given that, here are our suggestions:
Commission-free stock and ETF trading (not all ETFs are free). You can also copy other traders/investors. Slick, modern, and easy for anyone to use. It is trusted by over 30 million clients worldwide.
Founded in 1978, IBKR is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. It offers an enormous range of financial products (stocks, ETFs, Options,…), and low currency conversion fees (FX fees).
💡 Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for novice investors.
A European broker known for its exclusive feature of IPO subscriptions for individual investors (previously accessible only for institutional investors). It also offers stocks, ETFs, bonds, futures, and options on major American, Asian and European exchanges.
Disclaimer: Capital is at risk.
Plus500 is one of the leading CFD brokers. It offers no commissions when trading CFDs in Indices, Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Shares, Options and ETFs. It also recently launched Plus500 Invest for those who want to invest in real shares.
Disclaimer: 84% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Free stock trading up to €100.000 monthly volumes in some European countries (Portugal, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, France, Spain, Romania and Germany). It also allows you to invest in CFDs, cryptocurrencies, and forex with low fees.
Disclaimer: 81% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
One of the leading online brokers in Europe due to its low-cost structure. It offers commission-free stock and ETF trading and a wide product portfolio.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.
Top tier regulators supervise all the companies mentioned here, like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
eToro at a glance
Founded in 2006, eToro is a well-known worldwide fintech startup and the leader in the social trading field (follow other people’s trades), with over 30 million users worldwide. You can also invest in other products through their platform, which is intuitive and simple to use, making it a good choice for beginners. Plus, they started offering commission-free stock and ETF trading in Europe (not all ETFs are commission-free).
Opening an account and depositing is easy, and you can even try it out with virtual money. On the downside, spreads can be high for some products. The only currency accepted is the USD, which means that you’ll be charged currency conversion fees upon deposit and withdrawal if you deposit in another currency.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
2# Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers at a glance
Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ (ticker: IBKR), Interactive Brokers is a global online broker which surpassed major financial crises, showing resilience and a rigorous risk management process.
Interactive Brokers offers an advanced investment platform that includes a wide range of products (stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, bonds, and currencies) from 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and a set of technical and fundamental tools to help you in your investment decisions.
Beginners and intermediate investors have educational tools to explore, but the learning curve will be steep. That´s why we mainly endorse it to more advanced traders. Besides, the customer service gives crystal clear answers to your doubts, so there is no need to go back and forth.
On the downside, Interactive Brokers’ fee structure is quite complex, the registration process is lengthy but fully online, and the broker doesn’t offer commission-free trading. However, when considering FX fees, narrower spreads, and the stock loan program, Interactive Brokers’ clients still get significant savings compared to most brokers.
Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for beginner investors. Some of the features of IBKR GlobalTrader include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares, demo account, and more.
Want to know more about Interactive Brokers? Check our Interactive Brokers Review.
Freedom24 at a glance
Founded in 2015, Freedom24 has already offered to its 400,000+ worldwide clients the stocks of 260+ new companies at the IPO price, as well as 40,000+ stocks, 1,500+ ETFs, 800,000+ US Stock Options, and 147,000+ bonds on the largest exchanges in Europe, Asia, and the US.
Freedom24 trading platform can be accessed through PC and mobile App versions. Both trading platforms are adequate for executing trades. They are well designed and intuitive but lack customization options. You are provided with additional features such as “InvestIdeas” and “News”.
Freedom24 flagship product is clearly its offering of the new stocks at the IPO price to hundreds of companies awaiting their opportunity to trade on major stock exchanges. There is excitement around this feature since it was only available for institutional investors.
In addition to the above, all Freedom24 clients have D-accounts – USD saving accounts at 3% per annum, which is higher than most European saving accounts (let´s be fair, we are comparing to EUR accounts that are at 0%). Besides, the customer service gives understandable answers to your doubts, so there is no need to go back and forth.
On the downside, it requires a minimum of $2,000 for IPOs participation, charges €7 per withdrawal, and presents an above-average currency conversion fee.
Want to know more about Freedom24? Check our Freedom24 Review.
Disclaimer: Investments in securities and other financial instruments always involve the risk of loss of your capital. Buying stocks at IPO prices may involve additional restrictions.
Plus500 at a glance
Founded in 2008, Plus500 is an online broker offering a wide range of financial products, including real shares and CFDs on forex, indices, shares, commodities, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. It is available in over 50 countries and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
There are two distinct account types:
- Plus500 CFD: It only focuses on CFD products;
- Plus500 Invest: Where you can trade stocks (real shares);
As a side note, Trade Sniper, a platform only available for US users and where you can trade Futures, is also part of the Plus500 group.
The web platform you will use is the WebTrader, Plus500’s proprietary platform, offering a stable trading experience and easy access from multiple devices, including a mobile app. All platforms are easy to use and responsive, and you can start testing the features by opening a demo account.
Their customer support is helpful and easy to assess through a chat that is always shown on the trading platform. Their spreads are low, and they offer accounts in sixteen currencies, including USD, EUR, and GBP. Still, they charge a 0.70% currency conversion fee and a $10 monthly fee following three months with no activity. On Plus500 Invest, they only charge a small commission per trade (US market: $0,006/share).
Finally, it is regulated by financial regulators like the FCA and CySec, meaning that Plus500 is appropriately supervised and that there is an investor protection scheme under the entity you open an account with. For instance, If you open an account as a European investor through Plus500CY Ltd, you are protected up to €20,000. Additionally, Plus500 provides negative balance protection for CFD trading on a per-account basis – only to retail clients from the European Union.
Want to know more about Interactive Brokers? Check our Plus500 Review.
84% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money
XTB at a glance
Founded in 2002, XTB presents itself as a market player with extensive worldwide experience, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The platform offers 0% commissions on stocks. However, its software is more oriented to CFDs and forex trading with competitive costs.
XTB also offers other financial products such as commodities and cryptocurrencies. XTB charges high commissions on CFDs of cryptocurrencies but low costs for Forex. Besides, you will face an inactivity fee of €10/month after one year of non-trading and if you have not made any deposit in the last 90 days. Opening an account and transferring money is a quick and hassle-free process (demo account available).
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investors accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this broker. It is important to understand how CFDs work and the risks involved in trading, like losing all the invested capital.
DEGIRO at a glance
Founded in 2013, Degiro is a low-cost brokerage firm that has become very popular due to its low rates! With over 2 million users, the innovative platform has become widely known for its “do-it-yourself” philosophy in the sense that you have everything at your disposal to start investing on your own. It offers a wide range of financial assets to trade, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures contracts, warrants, investment funds, and some leveraged products (not quite the same as CFDs. More info here).
For instance, you can trade some stocks and ETFs for free (a €1 flat handling fee – external costs – still applies). You also have a list of 200 ETFs where you may trade once a month completely free with no minimum amount required. The web trading platform is basic, but it is efficient and straightforward to use. In a matter of minutes, you get used to it. The same applies to its mobile app. On the downside, there is an absence of any significant fundamental research, a €2.50 connectivity fee applies and pricing alerts are missing.
Regarding security, Degiro is the Dutch branch of flatexDEGIRO Bank AG (a German regulated bank). In the unlikely event that the segregated assets cannot be returned to clients, Degiro falls under the German Investor Compensation Scheme, which compensates any losses from non-returned assets up to 90% (with a maximum of €20,000), so do bear this in mind if you are planning to invest much larger volumes. Furthermore, any money deposited on a DEGIRO Cash Account with flatexDEGIRO Bank AG will be guaranteed up to an amount of €100,000 under the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
Still any doubts? Go through our Degiro Review!
Which platform should you choose?
Some factors you should know when choosing an online broker are the fees charged if it is regulated by top-tier institutions such as the FCA in the UK, the range of products it allows you to trade (not all platforms allow you to trade EU stocks), among others.
The best online broker in your specific case will depend on your profile, preference, and objectives. Explore the websites above and decide for yourself!
A reminder that the above should not be seen as investment advice and should be considered information only. Investors should do their own research and diligence about the best-suited services and opportunities for their risk, returns, and impact strategy.
Hope we helped, and leave your comments below.
Other FAQs about Robinhood
Can I use Robinhood from Europe with a VPN?
No, European investors cannot use a VPN to open a Robinhood account. Upon account opening, Robinhood requires specific documentation that proves that you are a US citizen.
How exactly does Robinhood make money?
The online broker earns money from interest earned on customers’ cash balances (money in your account not invested), by selling order information to third parties (high-frequency traders, for instance), and margin lending.
Regarding the selling of orders, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is still investigating Robinhood for not fully disclosing its practice of selling clients’ orders to high-speed trading firms.
Until October 2018, Robinhood would not clearly state that it was receiving payments for order flows. By law, any financial company must reveal all the material facts an investor would want to know before making any investment decision.